Pennsylvania is an industrious state that is known for producing and exporting all kinds of products, including things like coal, steel, timber, and – of course – beer! But you may be wondering, is Yuengling beer still made in Pennsylvania?
Yuengling beer is still made in Pennsylvania. The company operates two breweries in the area of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Thanks to the recent growth of the brand, Yuengling also owns and operates a brewery in Tampa and brews at a Coors plant in Forth Worth, Texas.
So, where are the Yuengling breweries in Pennsylvania? How long has Yuengling been brewed for? How much beer does Yuengling make in a year? In the following sections, you’ll learn the answers to these questions and more.
Mr. Yuengling Comes to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is home to a group of people commonly called the Pennsylvania Dutch. This moniker, however, is not exactly correct. The Pennsylvania Dutch are people who actually hail from Germany (Deutschland), and the anglicization of the word Deutsch became Dutch. All this is to say that there are a lot of German people in Pennsylvania.
One of those hard-working Germans was David. G. Yuengling. Born in Germany in 1808, David Yuengling was the son of a brewer and grew up around beer and brewing. Unfortunately for David, the family business was inherited by his older brother Jakob, which left a young David Yuengling with few prospects. So, in 1823, he embarked for America, where he eventually found his way to the town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
In Pottsville, Yuengling spent a few years finding his way and saving money before opening a brewery of his own. Finally, in 1829, he opened the Eagle Brewery in downtown Pottsville and began brewing high-quality German beer. The brewery’s name was later changed to D. G. Yuengling & Son Brewery after his son Frederick entered the family business. Since that time, the name has endured.
The Yuengling Breweries
Yuengling has two breweries in Pennsylvania. The brand’s flagship location is in downtown Pottsville, on the corner of 5th and Mahantongo Street. This site is the same location where David G. Yuengling launched his brewing business almost 200 years ago, and it was Yuengling’s only brewery until 1999.
In 1999, 170 years after the opening of the flagship brewery in Pottsville, fortune smiled upon the company. That year, while enjoying a Philadelphia Phillies spring training game, Dick Yuengling came across an opportunity to purchase a brewery in Tampa formerly owned by Stroh’s Beer. He immediately realized the value of expanding to Florida and bought the brewery. By the end of the summer, Yuengling was flowing from the company’s new Tampa Bay brewery.
As Yuengling’s growth continued, the brand decided to build a third brewery. Being a Pennsylvanian brand at heart, Yuengling built this brewery in the town of Mill Creek, just up the road from Pottsville. The brewery came online in 2001 and has enabled Yuengling to expand its reach all along the eastern seaboard.
In the face of increasing demand, the brand has continued to expand its capacity. In 2011, Yuengling expanded its Mill Creek Facility. In 2020, they reimagined their Tampa location as a beer garden, enabling them to reach the Tampa market in an engaging new way.
New Flavors in the Craft Beer Era
Yuengling is known for high-quality, traditional beer. While the most popular Yuengling beer is Yuengling’s Traditional Lager, the brand’s oldest beers are, in fact, its Lord Chesterfield Ale and Dark Brewed Porter, which it has been brewing for more than 150 years. Talk about tradition.
A contemporary favorite in Yuengling’s beer selection is Yuengling’s Golden Pilsner. This beer lives up to its name, with a deep golden color that practically jumps out of the mug. Reviewers love the flavor and character of this brew, which is well-balanced enough to be drinkable year-round.
Many beer-drinkers today crave a beverage that’s a little lighter. One of Yuengling’s proudest releases in recent years has been their Flight beer, a finely-crafted light beer. With only 2.6 grams of carbs compared to an average beer’s 13 grams of carbs, Flight offers health-conscious beer drinkers a way to enjoy delicious beer without worrying about the extra carbs or calories.
As American beer culture has evolved to focus more on craft brewing and unique kinds of beer, Yuengling has kept pace. One of Yuengling’s boldest moves in recent years was the launch of Raging Eagle, which is a mango-flavored Pils. Beer drinkers enjoy various beer styles these days, and the market’s preferences are very dynamic. With its long and proud history, Yuengling will continue to innovate as the world changes.
Keystone Answers Fun Fact: Despite the existence of Tied House laws, most states make an exception for operations such as brewpubs and craft breweries. That’s why brewers like Yuengling and Straub can operate tasting rooms and public areas that serve their own beer.
How Many Gallons Does Yuengling Brew in a Year?
Today, Yuengling can brew around 2.6 million gallons of beer a year. That’s roughly 27 million beers! To put it into a silly perspective, the average American drinks around 312 beers a year, so at that rate, it would take one average American 86,538 years to drink all the Yuengling brewed in one year.
While Yuengling’s brewing capacity is pretty vast, it helps to compare it to national brands such as Coors. Coors produces an astonishing 22 million barrels per year, which works out to about 682 million gallons of beer! That is enough beer to fill about 97,428 semi-trailers every single year.
Is Yuengling Made in Tampa?
Yuengling does have a brewing facility in Tampa, but the brand is still headquartered in Pennsylvania. The Tampa brewery was a perfect fit for Yuengling’s needs when the brand bought it in 1999. The Tampa facility is a mid-size brewery that has enabled them to tap into the fast-growing Tampa market.
One of the best ways to enjoy a Yuengling in Tampa is to visit the brewery. Yuengling has given the brewery a facelift, and guests can enjoy a delicious brew in the Florida sunshine at the Tampa brewery.
Does Yuengling Have a Brewery in Texas?
Yuengling does brew beer in Fort Worth, Texas. However, the Fort Worth brewery is owned and operated by Molson-Coors. As a result, Yuengling and Molson-Coors have entered into a unique joint venture that allows Yuengling to tap into new markets by leveraging Molson-Coors’ production facilities.
This move does not mean that Molson-Coors owns Yuengling. In fact, Yuengling is still an independent, family-owned brewery. The joint venture is more like a business partnership than an acquisition, and Yuengling intends to stay independent.
Why is Yuengling Not Sold in All States?
There are really two answers to this question. The first answer is that Yuengling does not (yet) have the capacity to produce enough beer to supply all 50 states. The brand’s current brewing capacity is about 2.6 million gallons of beer a year, and all of it is selling out.
The second answer is tied to Prohibition and Saloons. One of the things that led to Prohibition was the shady reputation of saloons, which were seen as dens of iniquity that facilitated a number of vices such as gambling, drunkenness, and the keeping of disreputable company. When Prohibition ended, many legislators feared that saloons would pop up across the land like mushrooms after a summer rain, bringing all of the terrible vices back to their communities.
In the days before Prohibition, many saloons were operated as “tied houses.” In other words, the saloon was tied to a specific brewer or distiller and could not serve competing brands of alcohol. This is different from a “free house” arrangement, wherein a bar owner can serve whatever brand they like.
Despite there being no clear link between tied houses and the vices commonly associated with bars, Congress somehow decided that the tied-house arrangement was the root cause for these vices and banned it, thus making it harder for breweries to sell directly to consumers. The impact of this law on the vices it was intended to target has been negligible.
While most states still require distributors, there are exceptions. Many states are updating their liquor laws as the popularity of craft beer increases. In some states, breweries can sell directly to consumers; laws like these may spread as time goes on. At this time, however, beer generally has to pass through a distributor to reach the drinking public.
If a distributor near you is not buying Yuengling, you won’t be able to find it in your local restaurants or stores. If you want to see a brand like Yuengling available in your area, encourage your favorite bars and restaurants to talk to their distributors.
Yuengling: Pennsylvania Pride
Pennsylvania has always been an industrious state, home to great thinkers, innovators, and doers. That holds true in brewing as much as in any other industry. Yuengling beer has been artfully brewed in Pennsylvania since 1829, and even as the brand expands into new markets and opens new breweries in other states, Yuengling will remain a Pennsylvanian brand for centuries to come.